UK craft producer makes Australian move

01 March, 2019 by Andy Young

UK craft spirits and beers producer Halewood Wines & Spirits has revealed it has established Halewood Wines & Spirits Australia, and that it has bought a majority stake in the Ironbark Distillery in NSW.

Halewood will import and market a wide number of the brands in its portfolio including the UK’s leading premium gin, Whitley Neill, alongside Dead Man’s Fingers rum, Aber Falls gins and liqueurs from Wales, JJ Whitley gins and vodkas, and Peaky Blinder whisky.

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The company’s success in the UK with its Whitley Neill brand has enabled it to expand into other markets and look at its portfolio and investment in Australia. With its purchase of Ironbark, the company said that it has plans to triple the distillery’s production capacity of gin, rum and whisky.

Halewood International CEO Stewart Hainsworth, said: “Ironbark’s reputation for excellent quality fits with Halewood’s dedication to providing consumers with an artisanal experience. This investment represents the next step in Halewood’s International plan to focus on key spirit markets.”

The company said that Ironbark’s gin brand will enjoy further Australian investment and will be distributed by Halewood subsidiaries firstly in the UK, USA, and China.

Reg Papps, Master Distiller and Director of Ironbark said: “When you create a brand you always dream that it will be carried on for generations, to have a business partner like Halewood Australia behind Ironbark, gives us the opportunity to see the brand grow to its full potential, and be carried forward for many generations.”

Halewood, who will be based in Sydney, said that its portfolio will continue to be managed by Bouchon, with the distribution arrangement in place until the mid-2019, and that gin will be “at the heart of its strategy”.